Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Free Avios with 3V Virtual Visa – our updated list of places where you can use the card

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It was two weeks ago that I originally ran a version of this article, discussing places which accept the 3V Virtual Visa cards.

(If you missed the original post, you can buy two £25 3V Virtual Visa cards in Tesco for £50, earn 150 bonus Clubcard points – 360 Avios points – and then use the cards to pay off online bills where only debit cards are accepted.  My main 3V Virtual Visa post is here.)

Head for Points automatically closes articles to new comments after two weeks.  I have therefore republished the list below, with the latest additions, so that people can continue to comment.

Here is a list of places (utility companies mainly, I have ignored normal online retailers where they will always be accepted) where they definitely can and cannot be used online:

Works fine:

Amazon (Amazon sells online gift vouchers from 10p.  Ordering a voucher to be sent to yourself is a great way to empty your 3V card if you have a small balance left.  You can then add your gift voucher to your Amazon account as a credit, and it will be used next time you order.  If you use our Amazon link here, Head for Points gets a commission when you order a gift voucher.)

BT

Charles Stanley (an investment group)

Co-Operative Energy

Council tax (varies by authority, of course, but most accept debit cards these days)

EDF

E.ON

Freemans

highstreetvouchers.com (lets you use the cards for a wide range of vouchers eg John Lewis)

HMRC (treated as a debit card so no 1.4% fee to pay, maximum of 20 cards can be used per day)

Next (to pay off account balance, although you can also use Next gift cards from Tesco for this)

Npower

O2

Orange

Oyster (Tube tickets in London)

Royal Mint (see this post on buying 50p coins for 50p!)

Sky (Sky also lets you prepay online, using that balance up before recommencing your normal direct debit)

South West Water

TalkTalk

Virgin Media

With caveats:

Barclaycard (works to settle Priority Club and Hilton HHonors credit cards, does not appear to work with standard Barclaycard bills.  However, you cannot use more than two 3V cards in a day and no more than five in one month.)

First Utility (in your profile is the option to pay part of a bill, however once you have done this once the option disappears and further transactions must be done on the telephone)

Scottish Power (will take it but treat it as a credit card with a 1.4% fee)

TV Licence (cannot split payment, so would need to pay the £1.75 per card transfer fee to move £150 onto one 3V card)

Does not work:

American Express (to pay bill)

British Gas

Capital One credit cards (to pay bill)

Hargreaves Lansdown (an investment group – this was working but now seems to have been blocked)

MBNA credit cards (to pay bill)

Scottish Gas

Selftrade

T-Mobile

Tesco online shopping (surprised by this, any other reports?)

Tesco savings account (when depositing using a debit card)

Please continue to add your own experiences with utility companies, credit card companies etc.  We know that they should work as ‘normal’ with online retailers so that is less important unless there is a special tweak involved.  Other ideas apart from Amazon for cashing out very small remaining balances are also welcome.


How to earn Avios from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (May 2024)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

Get 25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £20,000 Read our full review

There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £15,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points. These points convert at 1:1 into Avios.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus points and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Run your own business?

We recommend Capital on Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,500 Avios.

Capital on Tap Business Rewards Visa

10,000 points bonus – plus an extra 500 points for our readers Read our full review

There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and FREE for a year Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

Comments (106)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Trevor says:

    Yay, after weeks my local Tesco restocked, so bought a bunch this morning – at last! Double-checked all were activated before leaving the store, and immediately activated all online. Only had an issue with one when it said it had already been activated 😮 Checked my list of cards though and a new one had appeared, though I never got the email so had to request to Resend security details, and all turned out fine.

    Tested positive for Royal Mail
    Tested negative for FairFX currency cards – declined by 3V

  • Michael Christie says:

    Got feedback from 3v on what is needed for the proof of id if you go over £1650 limit – emailed and heres the reply

    Regarding increasing your voucher purchase limit, we will need to receive the documents ONLY via post:

    (A) Evidence of name and residential address must include copies of any two (2) of the following:

    * Original Utility Bill within the last three months (not a mobile phone bill)
    * Bank or Building Society statement (not a credit card) – within the last three months
    * Local Authority Rating Invoice
    * Inland Revenue Communication

    (B) A certified copy of your current passport or driver’s license.

    Send a copy of your passport or driver’s license that has been signed and stamped by:
    o The staff of a post office,
    o The staff of a banks, a building society or a Credit Union authorised by the Financial Ombudsman,
    o A Chartered Accountants or Certified Public Accountants
    o Embassy / Consular staff, or
    o The Police authority

    You can only post the documents to the address below.

    3V Transaction Services
    PO Box 11852
    Blackrock
    Co. Dublin

    NOTE: Any of the above certifications will only be accepted by Raphaels, if they have been certified within the past 6 month.
    Forwarding the required document to us does not guarantee approval.
    The information receive will undergo review and verification process.

    Your personal information may be passed to fraud prevention agencies or to the police (subject to lawful authority and reasonable requests),
    or in the event that You give Us false or inaccurate information or if there are circumstances that give rise to reasonable grounds to believe
    that an offence may have been committed.

    • tom says:

      I note this:

      “you cannot activate 3V Visa numbers with a total value greater than £1625 in any 365-day period without providing sufficient evidence of your ID and home address”

      but what about this?:

      “you cannot redeem more than £650 from your 3V Visa numbers in any 365-day period without providing sufficient evidence of your ID and home address”.

      I have paid off more than £650 but less than £1625 of my c-tax bill using 3V, but have not had a request for ID, any idea if one will be on it’s way and will they not authorise the payments over £650 which were accepted by city council online payment?

      • Dan says:

        I’ve successfully activated and spent at HMRC £1725 (yes, £100 over their quoted limit). But when I tried to activate another card a few days later I got “Customer is suspended.”

        I emailed to ask it was due to these limits and she confirmed it was and that I’d need to provide evidence of my address. I’m not clear whether I need to send documents from both (A) and (B) or whether one or the other will do. I emailed again for clarification and waiting for their response. But I’ll probably just do it in my partner’s name as it sounds like they’re running out.

  • Louie says:

    Must be the first time those in London are at a disadvantage!

  • chris says:

    for those using these with the royal mint 50p’s the ones that are listed as “in production” do not have the 4 order limit but have an order limit of 99 each, (tho royalmint will most like cancel the order and refund your card, might be worth trying)

    • Rob says:

      Thanks. I am doing another post on this in a few days.

      • Ed E says:

        I spent last night watching a program about Somme tunnels and taking 100 of these out of their annoying outer film wrappers, popping the middle out of the cardboard and then opening the hard plastic to get the coin out.
        Went into the bank at lunch time and found my local HSBC doesn’t have a coin counter so had to bag them up in £10 batches and deposited them with no problem.

        The HSBC on The Strand, opposite Charing Cross Station (sorry London focused but that is near where I used to work) has a coin counter machine which puts it straight into your account (for HSBC / First Direct customers) so you can reinvest your ill-gotten gains without having any awkwardness with counter staff.

        I have done another 2x£25 orders and one seems to have gone through OK, the money taken off the 3V card, and now closed by Royal Mint. The second has not taken the money and is “StatusHeld ” on the order.

        In my first batch I was short shipped 4 Football coins and they said they would send them ASAP, they also said they were completely overwhelmed with the 50p orders so we are making some poor people in Wales work very hard.

        I presume that they are happy to get rid of the old stock, they are not really making more of these just for us are they?

  • Londonbus says:

    Brent Park Tesco (Wembley Extra) had a full stock last night.

    I bought £200. £50 quid for my Orange account, £25 to BT and £125 for Scottish Power.

    Useful as I’ve got the LloydsTSB Duo AMEX and want to push £500 of spend through each month for the next three months before I go back to my MBNA Diamond Club Amex…

    • M says:

      Don’t know if it’s a website/system bug but none of the 3 cards added yesterday are showing on my account. They have been registered(as I’ve received an email with CVV2 etc.) it’s just that they’re not showing under my account.

    • takke says:

      Just wondering for anybody who has used the cards with Orange – have you been charged a non Direct Debit fee as I have had this sometimes in the past and don’t really want to have to pay it again as it would make it not worthwhile to use 3V…

  • Jamjaw says:

    I am struggling on both priority club and EDF to make a payment using these – keeps on being rejected. Anyone got any thoughts why this might be the case? Just says – could not make payment at this time, try again later.

    • stu6278 says:

      I used one of the 3V cards on EDF last week and it worked fine for me.

  • James says:

    I can see O2 is listed – can you use the 3V card to load money onto the O2 Money card?

  • Adey says:

    Also works on the charity ‘clearing house’ “mydonate.bt.com”.

    Adey

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